Friday, March 30, 2007

and fashion magazines are supposed to make us feel bad about ourselves

Last night on a whim, I purchased a Real Simple magazine. My thought process at the grocery store checkout was something like, eh, that magazine is supposed to be good and hey, I'm moving into my own place soon so ideas on how to have a real simple life would be good.

I'm now convinced that magazine is designed solely for the purpose of making average people feel bad about themselves. Its sort of like Martha Stewart, only younger and hipper, and without the scandal. Some of the oh so wonderful tips that I'll be sure to add to my life include: making your own clock out of materials that cost over $100 (the clock uses chalkboard paint and you get to write in the numbers with chalk) and suggesting that you not purchase wipes or cleaning solution for your stainless steel appliances, but instead make your own cleaning solution. Ummm...yeah...honestly, who has time for this shit? I was actually extremely happy with myself when I bought some wipes to keep in my bathroom so I could clean up my makeup mess every day. Wipes are our friends...its not like the were suggesting making your own cleaner to be environmentally friendly, I think it was supposed to save you time and money., it just means that my kitchen would look gross all the time.

Really, perhaps I'm just too lazy. Maybe people really do use clocks as bookends or make broaches into magnets to make their fridges look prettier or spend $800 on a trench coat. Its good to know that people care about this kind of stuff (though I suspect that the largest market for this crazy household thing is not yuppy housewives, but 30 year old gay men instead). Ultimately though, I think most people buy the magazine to feel like they are part of the aestetic, part of the crowd of "simple" living folks.

I really shouldn't judge this crowd. I'm not much of simple liver myself. I like my modern conveniences, and hell, I bought a magazine called Real Simple thinking that it would help me be organized and clean and such in my new apartment with KK. I should have known that's not really how things work. Next time, I'll save myself the trouble and just buy a People instead ;-) at least then I'll only feel fat, not fat and lazy...

Weight: 160 (fuuuuuck!!)
Miles: 3 (31:04)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

sigh - no running today

To answer your question, Elisabeth - yes, I do like running sometimes. Sometimes I even love it. I feel better after I do it and I generally feel better about myself knowing that I am a runner. That being said, some days, I hate it, and I only run because the runs are written in my day planner.

Speaking of written in my day planner, I am supposed to run 5 miles tonight, but its not gonna happen. I had a doctors appointment at 11:15 this morning with a dermatologist. My OBGYN had freaked me out about one mole, plus I've got some feet issues from running that needed a prescription. I didn't think that the dermatologist would do anything today, though cause the mole my new OBGYN was freaked out about was a mole that I have had at least since I was 13 years old. Generally, if they have been around that long (even if they are big), you don't have much to worry about. I did have another mole that has been worrying me for some time, but I kept being assured by docs (like the above OBGYN) that it wasn't big enough to worry about. So I assumed the derm would take a look at the moles, give me a prescription for the feet and send me on my way. No such luck.

Right now my shoulder feels like I slept on it badly because I had two moles removed. My whole shoulder/neck area hurts - guess the local he gave me didn't last all afternoon. The derm ended up taking off two moles and is sending them off to be biopsied. One on the front of my shoulder (the one that concerned me but not my other doc) and a mole on my back that I didn't even know was there. The derm assured me that I really shouldn't worry and that likely everything will come out hunky dory. I'm not at all stressed about the mole biopsy process - other than the fact that I once had a super super bad burn on my shoulders - but I think running is out for tonight. My shoulder hurts too much. Hopefully I can run these five tomorrow night instead.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

spring in my step

So, I figured out what's wrong with the half marathon training - lack of joy in my running at about mile 6. Thinking back to Sunday, I was actually having fun through at the very least, mile 5. I was dancing along as I ran, enjoying the random music that came through my ipod. I was so enthusiastic in my joy that I got smiles and laughs from bikers I passed on the trail. It was fun; I didn't mind the heat or the slight soreness in my butt or the tiny rocks in my shoes. And then, suddenly it wasn't fun anymore. My legs and butt hurt; I was hot; I was thirsty. I wasn't playing anymore, instead, I was training.

I realized this last night when I found myself singing along with Simon and Garfunkel about twenty minutes into my run. I was alone in a gym, on a treadmill, and I was having more fun than I did in those painful miles outside on a perfect Sunday afternoon. I like running 3 miles; I even like running 6 miles, but much more than that is real work and so far I haven't developed a real love for it. Its not the time either - I can spend four hours biking with minor breaks for food and still love every minute of it. No, its the pain. Running 10 miles hurts. Maybe someday, if I keep running long training runs it won't hurt so much, but I'm not sure I want to get past that point. I'm not sure I'm willing to put in that kind of time.

I want to get back to joyful running, to enjoying the movement, to have the freedom to run three miles and stop or to push on to six, to have the freedom to skip a Sunday run and take my bike out instead, to not be afraid that going rock climbing is going to leave me with too much muscle pain to run. I'm ready to run for the love of running again instead of because I have to.

Weight: 157.5
Miles: 0 for today - might hit the rock climbing gym tonight.

Monday, March 26, 2007

lesson learned

(1) Body glide is my friend. I bought body glide last year because my big clunky ipod was causing chafing when I was running. Since I replaced the big clunky ipod, I hadn't needed the body glide anymore. Now, I need it again. Even wearing capri running tights, I still managed to get chafed in my inner thighs and lower butt. Its not cute, but its the truth. Next time I go for a long run, I will apply body glide ahead of time (for those who don't know, body glide is a ant-friction thing that comes in a container that looks like deoderant - people apply it to prevent blisters on the feet and chafing everywhere else - I've heard that its really loved by people in the military who have feet issues).

(2) I need water. I thought I was gonna die before I got to the restaurant where I bought water at mile 7 yesterday. There were no water fountains and I wasn't carrying any water on my body. At one point the stream/drainage ditch running next to the Katy trail actually looked inviting. On my way back, I was heartbroken by a coke vending machine that didn't work - I still had 2 miles to get back to my car and I had been dreaming about that coke since about miles 10.

(3) Vanilla bean Gu is more gross than Vanilla Powergels. I won't go so far as to say that Vanilla Powergels are better because they are both gross, but Gu is worse.

(4) I don't like running on a long flat trail. Its boring; I get rocks in my shoes (and that really sucks), and its hot - very little shade.

(5) I don't like running in the heat. Yesterday was probably about 85 degrees in St. Louis. I already knew I didn't like running in the heat, its why I didn't run most of last summer. But, having it reconfirmed was a good thing. I'd much rather run in 19 degree temps than 90 degree ones. I know this is weird, but its true. When its hot out there are so many things I'd rather be doing than running, whereas when its cold, running is sort of my only option (its not like we get a lot of snow here).

(6) I'm really ready for this half marathon to be over. In fact, if Cathy weren't signed up to do it with me, I might back out at this point. I miss having my weekends free and being able to enjoy a gorgeous afternoon by peddeling away on my bike. I miss my bike. I hate having to devote almost my entire Sunday to running. I don't want to get up early, but then I have to plan everything else around my long run for the day and after I'm finished, I'm kind of useless. Next weekend I'm going to try to do my long run early in the morning on either Saturday or Sunday with a friend. Maybe then I could have some of my Sunday back.

Weight: 157.5 (I'm joining ww at work today, don't know if I will be able to do it until the half is over, but I'm going to try)
Miles: 2 (to run)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Announcements! Announcements!

This was a big weekend for me:

- I signed a lease on a new apartment! It is beautiful and has everything I have wanted, everything. And I'm going to have a roommate - my friend kk, who I have known since preschool. I'm paying probably more than I should be for a two bedroom apartment that I will share with a roommate, but I love everything about it. It's on the street I've been longing to live on for years, within walking distance of a wine bar, a nice restaurant with a nice bar, and my favorite coffee shop. It has central air, hardwood floors in the main living areas, my bedroom has a separate office, I have my own bathroom, and the kitchen...ahhh the kitchen. The kitchen is beautiful - hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, gas stove, built in microwave, full size side by side fridge, and a closet with a stackable full size washer and dryer. I can't wait for June 1! She and I have already talked about some of the rules we need (well, that she needs for me - dishes must be in the dishwasher within 24 hours of being used).

- I traveled 14 miles on foot today. I can't say that I ran it because I walked the last 5 miles or so because I got sick at mile seven (not caused by the running...)

- When rock climbing again last Thursday. I discovered that Thursdays are ladies night at the rock climbing gym. I did so much better this time on the wall. I made it to the top more than once and really felt great about myself.

Anyway, I'm gross from the run.

Miles: 14!!!!!
Weight: 159

Thursday, March 22, 2007

proud of my hometown team...

Ah, what a way to show the world how classy the team is after winning to world series last October.

Some days you've got it, some days you don't

Yesterday, I just didn't have it. I knew by the time I hit the first hill that my run yesterday was not going to be fun. My calfs tightened up at the first sign of an incline, and when I missed the first stop light, both of my legs turned to lead while I waited for the crosswalk. I knew that if I had been running on the treadmill, I would have stopped after two miles and called it a day. But, I wasn't running on the treadmill and my training schedule called for a five mile run - I was running the park and once I started, I wasn't going to stop until I got all the way back around to my car. As I hit that first hill, I knew I didn't have it that day, but then I remembered back when I really didn't have it.

I don't think I have written about when I first started running. Back then I couldn't have run a mile without walking. I had attempted a couple of times before to start running, but I didn't know what I was doing so just went out and ran. Just for your information - that doesn't work. Anyway, the first time I attempted to start running was in college, when I thought that it couldn't be too hard to run the mile length of DoG street and back to my dorm. Of course, it was too hard, and the tourists laughing and pointing like I was part of the colonial display (although in retrospect, I suspect I was more self-conscience than anything and that most of the tourists didn't even notice me) made me never want to try that again, especially after I had to start walking before I had even gotten to Bruton Parish or something.

Anyway, the second time I attempted to start running was during my second year of law school. I actually did fine that time, maybe even ran a mile before I headed home. Then disaster struck - in the form of gallstones. I went into the hospital that night and subsequently didn't work out for the next six months. There was no connection between the gallstones and exercise, but my tummy hurt too much for the next week to work out and for me, once I fall off the wagon, its REALLY hard to get back on.

In August before my third year of law school, I rejoined weight watchers with one of my friends and joined my local gym. I started doing between 30 and 60 minutes a day on the elliptical or the bike and was feeling pretty good. Then I started my internship and met somebody who has changed my life. She told me that if I could do the elliptical for 60 minutes then I could run. She insisted that when she started running, she couldn't run a mile either, and she gave me a wonderful book, The Complete Book of Running for Women. For a beginning female runner, that book has everything you need to know. The run/walk schedule is perfect for setting you up for your first 5k (if you want to start running I'd be glad to get you a copy), and it has training guides for everything from a 5k to a marathon. It discusses nutrition, injuries, shoes, clothes, everything. I loved the book so much that I bought myself a copy, loaned it to a friend and she bought a copy.

I learned to run on a treadmill that fall. That's partially why its sooo surprising how much I hate the treadmill now, but once I experienced running outside, I didn't want to go back. At first I was walking considerable more than I was running. Even still, I was completely out of breath after five minutes of running, certain that I couldn't do this. Slowly (I repeated some weeks), I built up my ability to run. I played with the pace (realized that I couldn't do 6 mph on the treadmill, but that 5 was much better). The first time I ran for 30 minutes straight I felt as though I had conquered the world. I was slow - perfectly content to jog away at 5 mph, but there was something so empowering about it. When I finished my first 5k, it was the best feeling in the world. I had accomplished something I had never thought possible, and I wasn't even close to finishing last. So now, on the days when "I just don't have it" I have to remember there were days when I really didn't have it, when the thought of running the 5.6 miles of the park seemed impossible. Remembering that makes the painfully slow miles of yesterday just not seem so bad.

Miles: 5.6 (yesterday - very slow, probably took 1 hour 10 minutes)
Weight: 158.5 (um, yeah, 2 pounds in 2 days - gotta love water weight)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

outwitted by a 3 year old (well, he's almost three)

Last weekend, I spent some quality time with the family. I flew up to Chicago with my grandmother to spend a couple nights with my brother, my sister-in-law, and the two munchkins. One of the munchkins cannot yet walk, talk, or even crawl so really she's just a cute bucket of poop. Always great to see how much she has changed since the last time I saw her, and she is especially smiley for a baby, but she's not really a person yet. She's still definitely more of a proto-person.

The same cannot be said for my nephew. He will be turning 3 in about a month (the same day as the half-marathon, actually), and he is definitely a little person. My nephew, wjr, has strong opinions, and some (including his preschool teacher), might call him a little bossy. Apparently, he has decided that I am not an adult, but instead am another child that he can tease and tell what to do. I often find myself "in jail" for non-existent offenses that include: banging on the wall or talking too loud (well, this may not be non-existent). Sunday morning he was especially out to get me. His mom was still sleeping in, and wjr disappeared for a little while. I found him up in his room. When I entered, I was told that I had to stay in there, and he proceeded to close the door. I figured we were back playing one of our games, so I let myself be closed off in his room...and then later "made my escape." At this point it was too late, though. wjr had woken up his mom cause he had decided that she had slept enough. My brother couldn't help but tease me that I had been outsmarted by a 2 year old. Ahhh...yes.

Then at breakfast, I was taunted. We went out to brunch, and my brother ordered wjr a kids order of pancakes. My brother cut them up for him and applied a modest amount of syrup. wjr was not pleased with the modest amount of syrup and requested more. This was not an unreasonable request so my brother passed the syrup to my grandmother to put on his pancakes. Unfortunately, my grandmother didn't think things through and handed the nearly full thing of syrup to the 3 year old. Not a good idea. I immediately attempted to take it away (as my brother was requesting), but had wjr put it in his far away hand holding it out as far away from himself (and me) as possible. I couldn't reach it...and then, this is where the taunting comes in...wjr just turned around and grinned. That kid KNEW he had me beat. In the end I persevered and got the syrup away from him, but not before getting extremely frustrated and covered in syrup. Lesson learned...when at brunch with a 3 year old, make one of his parents sit next to him...and don't give grandma the syrup.

Weight: 156.5
Miles: 3 (32:00 yesterday) none today

Friday, March 16, 2007

apartment hunting

So for the last couple of weeks I've been searching for the perfect apartment. I've been to apartment with rents raging from $500 to $1000. I've got pretty strict requirements these days. I have to have a dishwasher and central air. Hardwood floors, a gas stove and either a free washer/dryer or hookups are almost also a must. Oh, and closet space. I must have enough space for my clothes and other essentials. And - I'd prefer not topay more than about $700 for this place, and it needs to be in a neighborhood where I feel safe coming home at night. I don't want to fear car theft or muggings. So, you see I'm picky.

I'm also realizing how lucky I am to live in a relatively inexpensive city. The last apartment I looked at was about 700 square feet and had all of my requirements (except the closet space - that's why I didn't jump on that baby). The apartment rents for $675 so its in my price range. This seems pricey to me, but when I was talking about it with train boy he was astounded. Given the rents in LA, that apartment seems like such a great deal.

I'm still unsure though. The lack of closet space was a minor issue, and the kitchen is actually not all that attractive. I really want to love my next apartment, and this place just didn't seem like it was all that. I'm looking at another one next week - its slightly more pricey - $735, but actually has a washer/dryer in unit. Sigh...I'm sure I'll find something that I love.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Let's go out tonight...

So, I know why I haven't managed to save all that much money while I have been living in my parents house this winter. First, I'm not totally without expenses. I pay my parents about $300 a month for utilities and cable and stuff. I also have a very substantial student loan payment to make each month, and I did have to pay for all ofmy Illinois bar expenses out of my pocket. Finally, I went a bit crazy at Christmas - both in buying for myself and buying for other people.

The thing is, I've really got enough money even with all of that that I should be able to save plenty each month. I've paid off much of my credit card debt, and I have some money in the bank (enough for a rent deposit and first month's rent on my future apartment), but I haven't really saved anything substantial.

I think I know why. I spend far too much money on food. Now, part of that is that I spend a lot at the grocery store each week. I buy plenty of fresh produce and have no problem spending money on more expensive things (think red peppers and pacific rose apples) in order to get better taste. Still, that's not where the majority of my food money is going. That is going to dining out with one of my friends. I almost never eat dinner at home, but instead meet people out most nights of the week. I eat at Maggianos or PF Chang's or local independent restaurants, and it all adds up. Now, I am unwilling to give up the hanging out with my friends time, but I have to curb this crazy spending. Those wait staff members should not be getting such a big chunk of my paycheck. The problem is, I live so soo soooo far away from everyone that I can't just have people over to dinner. I really do think that moving might save me money (as crazy as that seems right now).

Also, this dining out business is playing havoc with my diet. I think it might be one of the biggest reasons I'm having trouble with the weight loss. So, I need to eat at home more or at least eat at restaurants less.

Oh, and I saw train boy again last night - sucks that he is likely leaving my fair city within the month and never coming back.

Weight: unknown
Miles: attempted to run 4 last night, had to stop due to knee pain (OH NO!) after mile 2, but did another mile or so on the elliptical with no pain.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I learned a few thinks on my run yesterday. First, I reaffirmed my belief that I don't like running with a water belt. It makes me feel like I have to pee all the time, makes my back sweaty, and generally just acts as added weight I don't need.

I also learned that my stomach can handle vanilla powergels alright. So, I think I will be sticking to this option for future runs. The powergels taste just like vanilla icing, only with this weird aftertaste - bleh. Anyway, because of the aftertaste, you pretty much have to drink the recommended water with the powergels.

I also learned that while I may feel fine after my run/cooldown, after I get in my car to drive home, I will then walk like a drunk old person. I went to St. Louis Bread company (Panera for those of you who aren't from the St. Louis area) after my run for a nice warm Panini (which will be discussed in the next paragraph). When I got out of the car, all of my joints had stiffened up so they didn't want to bend (especially my ankle for some reason), and I was unable to walk in a straight line. I must have looked pretty funny to all those bread co workers.

As far as the sandwich goes, I learned that I can't eat big rich things after a long run. I literally felt nausious and couldn't finish more than half the sandwich. This is sad because I know how many calories that sandwich has, and pretty much the only time I can imagine letting myself eat it is right after an 11 mile run. I felt better when I got home though. I also learned that beer after a run is maybe the most perfect food. I had two full calorie beers later last night (don't worry I rehydrated on water first) and they were perfection.

So weird tally count of random things:
Miles run: 11.2 yesterday, gonna do a nice slow 3 mile run in the park with a friend tonight.
Weight: 156 (hopefully this is not a mere reflection of dehydration)
Phone calls from random parking lot boy: 9!!!!
Dates with train boy: 1

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Chocolate Bar

So last night, I went to this restaurant here that's a bit of a romantic place with one of my friends for dessert after a long day of apartment hunting, shopping, and just generally hanging out. Going out to dessert after our healthy dinner of shashimi and seaweed salad was probably not the best idea for my diet, but hey, sometimes a girl wants a little bread pudding. The dessert was actually really mediocre.

But the dessert wasn't the bad part. The Chocolate Bar, the dessert restaurant, is in a neighborhood known as Lafayette Square. Now, I like this neighborhood, and I used to go to a yoga studio on the same street as the Chocolate Bar. As we walked past the yoga studio, I commented how it was sad that I couldn't go there anymore. I didn't explain why. Then we go in the restuarant, get seated in the main part of the room, and start looking through the menu. The girl I was with was facing out into the main part of the room and she was looking at something so I glanced behind me to look, and then I did a double take. Turns out she was looking out into the room cause this guy was obviously staring at me. He's the reason that I can't go to that yoga studio anymore. This is the guy I was afraid was reading my blog and so I changed my blog's address. This is the guy who my friends were afraid was going to hurt me because he had a tendancy to get jealous.

Anyway, he's sitting at a table a few feet away from us, BY HIMSELF. This isn't the kind of restaurant that I would ever go to by myself. The walls are painted red, and its intended to be a late night date place, although I think it gets maybe more of its business from groups of girls just going out for dessert. The food menu solely consists of yummy desserts and cheeses. Its dimly lit with rose at every table and your water is served out of wine bottles that they leave on the table. The sugar cubes for the coffee are heart shaped. You get the idea...its sad and weird to be sitting at a table at this place by yourself. And...there is a bar area in the front of the restaurant where it wouldn't seem so weird to be sitting by yourself. People probably wouldn't even notice. But, how can you not notice the sad looking GUY sitting by himself in the romantic red room. My heart plummeted when I saw him. I did not want to say hi, and luckily it seems neither did he. I feel bad for him, and I'm so glad I ended that relationship.

Still, its funny to me that there are places that I consider it inappropriate to go alone on a Saturday night. At the sushi place where we ate dinner, there was a guy sitting behind us alone. He was wearing a suit, and had his overcoat over the chair next to him, and even though it was a Saturday night, I didn't really think that he looked sad. Nothing struck me as sad and weird about him grabbing a bite of sushi alone at 5:30 in the evening. I wonder why I make such a distinction...would I thought my ex was weird for going to the Chocolate Bar alone at 8 pm on a Saturday if I hadn't known him? I don't know...

Miles: (to run today) 10 (yikes...but it might end up being 11.2 cause I think I'm just going to do 2 laps of the park and just walk the last mile or so).
Weight: 158 (yeah, I don't get the fluxuations, but whatever)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wanna go shopping?

Apparently, I'm exuding the "I'm a hot single girl" vibe right now. I don't really get it. Tonight in the parking lot of my local grocery store, I got picked up. The opening line was..."hey, I like your car, how many miles do you have on it?" Normally, I wouldn't respond to some random guy leaning out his car window, talking to me, but I thought maybe he was interested in buying my car. Now, its not for sale, but the air conditioning doesn't work so I would probably take a good offer if it was made on my car. Turns out, dude, just thinks I'm cute. He asks me where I go to school, and I actually talked to him. When did I become girl that random guys try to pick up? Is this normal? Do other women experience the grocery store parking lot pickup? Its not like he tried to pick me up in the produce aisle...that I would find totally normal ;-)

I'm not really interested in this guy. He's cute, but it was apparent that he hadn't gone to college - and the parking lot thing was less cute and more weird than the train thing. Still, I gave him my number. I guess we will see if he calls (sadly, haven't heard from train boy since I received that text message last Wednesday) so I'll be screening my phone calls for the next week or so.

Miles: 1.7 (walking on treadmill - god my thighs hurt today)
Weight: 157.5

Monday, March 05, 2007

word to the wise

Mexican food and distance running don't mix. In the future, I highly recommend not eating gross tamales, tortilla chips, and some very bad fried ice cream, drinking a margarita, and then attempting to run 8 miles. You might be able to run the 8 miles, but you will not enjoy it.

Tonight, that's exactly what I did. On a treadmill. In a stagnant gym. I hadn't run in over a week because of the Illinois bar and then this awful cold that I just haven't been able to kick. I've finally been able to breathe out of both sides of my nose again today (even though more of it is in my chest) so I decided it was ok to run today. I needed to do 8 or I knew that the 10 I'm supposed to run next Sunday would be killer. Let's just say that the 8 tonight nearly killed me by itself. I've never gotten off a treadmill before feeling like I might barf, while my entire body was shaking. I think, this was not a good run.

The first two miles weren't too bad. They were tedious cause I was intentionally holding myself to a very slow pace, but generally I felt great. I got a little bit of side stitch near the end of mile 2, but controlling my breathing made it go away. By the end of mile 3 the burbing starting. Disgusting tamales didn't taste too good the second time around either. I was still doing pretty well all the way through mile 6, but then at mile 7 I could feel my blood pounding in my head. Even minute seemed like an eternity and I really felt sluggish and ill. I think I had become seriously dehydrated at that point (hmmm...drinking alcohol before running 8 miles is not a good idea...shocker...). I wasn't sure if I could do the last mile, but I was bound and determined. I hadn't run 7 painful miles to give up during the 8th. I survived and I did it in the time I set out to, but please remember - Mexican food and drinks and distance running are not a happy mix.

Miles: 8 (95:45)
Weight: who the hell cares! I ran 8 miles tonight!!

Friday, March 02, 2007

stress makes me fat...

So, I haven't been particularly good since Tuesday, and on Monday and Tuesday I ate all kinds of inappropriate things (think pizza and ice cream and twizzlers and McDonalds and Chinese). Still, somehow today I put on one of my suits that lets me know when I'm gaining weight (last week the jacket was a squidge tight) and the jacket was swimming on me. I went downstairs and weighed myself...ummm...I lost most of the weight I gained. And, I haven't gone for a run in a week. My body constantly surprises me.

Weight: 156.5 (home scale)
Miles: 0 (no miles run since last Friday - I have to get over this cold)